The excitement and performances seen at recent British Lead Climbing Championships and BMC Youth Climbing Series competitions serves to demonstrate the interest and skill level that is to be found in the UK's climbing elite, but what opportunities exist for lead climbers wanting to test their skills against their peers?
The UK has a great history of indoor climbing competitions, being one of the first countries to get behind this particular area of the sport in the 1980s. Since the 80s/90s heyday, lead climbing competitions have slowly declined, but it is the focus of the Petzl Lead Climbing Championship to bring back the love of indoor climbing, with a competition for all!
Back for it's second year, the Petzl Lead Climbing Championship is a collaboration between one of the best known climbing equipment brands in the world, and three of the UK's most respected climbing centres. With rounds in Manchester, Harrogate and Reading, it is truly a national lead climbing competition!
Competitors can take part in one, two, or all of the championship rounds. Each round has a £1500 fund of prizes, in the form of top-flight equipment provided by Petzl. This year, the top-scoring competitors from each round will be invited to a Super Final at the Manchester Climbing Festival, which sees Manchester Climbing Centre mark it's 10th birthday with a week-long celebration.
If you research climbing competitions online, you will find hundreds of bouldering competitions; lead climbing doesn't really register. This is what drives the Petzl Lead Climbing Championships; striving to listen to the climbing community, climbing at walls across the UK every week during the Winter season, and to provide an event for them. We have listened, and we have provided what we hope is the perfect set of events.
Supported by Petzl athletes including John Dunne, Steve McClure, Neil Gresham, Leah Crane and Neil Mawson, as well as the impressive Petzl Youth Team, no other climbing competition is as well established in the community as the Petzl Lead Climbing Championships. Each event offers the chance to rub shoulders with the climbing greats, whilst being at the friendliest, most enjoyable competition you can imagine.
With Junior (under 16), Adult & Veterans (40+) categories, both split into male & female, everyone will be competing against their peers. There is no extra cost to take part in the Petzl Lead Climbing Championships, beyond paying the normal entry fee for each centre on the day.
The dates for each round are as follows:
- 8th November - Manchester Climbing Centre
- 22nd November - Reading Climbing Centre
- 29th November - Harrogate Climbing Centre
For more information on each round of the Petzl Lead Climbing Championships, including start times and registration, please see the individual Climbing Centre's website: